When I first started learning about the toxins in our everyday products, cleaning products were one of the first areas I knew I needed to make a change.
I began to realize that the “fresh, clean smell” I was familiar with came from toxic fragrances and ingredients. Time to detox your cleaning products and start fresh!
Detox Your Cleaning Products The Right Way
Don’t throw your old cleaners into the garbage
As therapeutic as it may feel, they really don’t belong in the garbage or flushed down the toilet and shouldn’t end up in a landfill where they’ll leach gross stuff into the environment. Bring it to your local hazardous waste disposal center like you would bring in batteries, light bulbs, and paints.
Don’t buy the first “Green” cleaning product you see
Greenwashing is especially rampant in the cleaning product department. Brands are good at using “natural” and “green” on the label to make you think you're buying a greener alternative. There's no obligation to list ingredients on cleaning products, so it's hard to know what they contain.
An easy way to check how “green” product is: use Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning where you can search for products and get ratings on how they measure up for toxicity (A means the lowest concern, all the way up to F, which is the highest concern).
An example of greenwashing would be Clorox's “Green Works” brand, with most products getting dismal scores on EWG's database.
Their products are also “green-certified” by the US Environmental Protection Agency, but this doesn't mean they don't have harmful ingredients. Another example is the “method” brand, which most people consider a greener option – however, most of their products are rated C or D (moderate to high concern) on the EWG database.
Try a little DIY
I was never a big DIY-er until about a year and a half ago when I realized that some DIYs are super easy and fast to do – and super frugal as well.
Cleaning DIYs can be simple – just pour a few ingredients into a spray bottle, and you're done! I have a list of DIY cleaning recipes, but I tend to use just one or two for almost everything.
I use my DIY mold and mildew buster as an all-purpose cleaner (white vinegar, filtered water, and Purification and Lemon essential oils), and I also love Young Living's Thieves Household cleaner (which comes in a concentrated form, so it goes a LONG way).
Essential oils can be effective as natural cleaning agents, so I haven't missed the old toxic stuff I used to have!
Watch this quick video where I show you how to make my Mold and Mildew Buster!
Do some digging on each product, even if you find a brand you like
Unfortunately, sometimes you'll find a green brand that you think you can trust, and for some reason, one out of 15 of their offerings has a bad score on the EWG because of a weird ingredient.
For example, most Attitude cleaners have good ratings (their all-purpose eco-cleaner gets an A!), but some of their laundry soaps do not. Do a quick check before adding it to your cart!